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A memory tree is a craft activity that is fun for the whole family and a completely different way of logging your experiences.
Memory trees can be created by drawings, paints, template or even 3D models depending on your visions. They are the perfect resource to record specific events such as birthdays, anniversaries or even lockdown!
Why not create your very own memory tree that is unique and personalised to your family? These simple ideas will present you with a really different and exciting DIY project that the whole family can get involved in.
Creating Your Trees
There are different ways that you can create your craft memory tree. Test your creative skills by drawing or painting your tree freehand whatever size that suits you best!
-To start off, be sure to draw a tree with no leaves and only branches as you need room to add your memories in the form of pictures and words that will act as the leaves of your tree. Alternatively, if you don't fancy yourself an artist, you can find easy to use templates to create your tree.
-Remember if you want to print your template you will likely want this to be bigger than A4 size so that you can fill it with as many memories as possible. Equally, you can just use a template to copy and still draw free hand, as the shape is very simple in itself.
-For a really unique family project, you could even try to make your own 3D tree to hang your pictures and memories on for a beautiful and personal addition to you home. Go big and size up, or create lots of small ones as great desk features and have each member of the family make their own!
Gathering Your Memories
The essence to a good memory tree is theming them to revolve around one event or period of time. While this isn't essential you have to be selective with the memories and information you are adding to your tree as there isn't room to put everything on there.
-You could make your tree really personal and theme it around someone's best birthday celebration. They make a really great gift so if you have a special person's birthday coming up, why not make them a personal and beautiful DIY memory tree?
-You could also make your lockdown memories into a poster or model by collating the best things you achieved in lockdown and some lovely family photos to remember this important moment in history. You want your memory tree to be colourful and full of life so choose some bright and colour photos and create written tags to go along side the photos, annotating them so you know exactly where and when they are from.
-If you are choosing the 3D option then you can make your tags double sided, with the picture on one side and the comment on the other and hand them off your model with a piece of ribbon or string. These simple ideas will create the perfect and unique display from your family memories.
Decorate, Decorate, Decorate!
Kids love to get messy and creative so use this time to spice up your beautiful creations with some extra things to put the cherry on top!
-Firstly, just because the trees outside are brown, doesn't mean yours have to be! Feel free to get creative and add as much colour to your poster or model and you see fit. Also, while photos and annotations are essential to your memory tree doesn't mean that these are the only things you should add!
-Find relevant creations e.g. drawings, paintings and any other craft activities you may have undergone and stick those down as well! If you are doing a general tree or one for a specific event, search for anything from ticket stubs or newspaper clippings to receipts or even labels from bottles or bottle caps to enhance your tree and make it special and unique to you.
-You can make something out of everything and even things that seem the silliest to keep can make beautiful and simple additions to a creation like this one.
-Add a splash of colour with post-it notes - an easy way to add some text in a more creative and fun way! Post-it notes often come in fluorescent colours and you can even get some with interesting shapes or designs to really give your artwork an edge.
-You can also add things like stickers, colourful tape to border pictures and even pressed flowers that may not seem particularly relevant to your tree but will help boost the creativity of it. Use any of these ideas to make your tree more aesthetically pleasing and make a great feature in your house.
Putting It All Together
This part is really down to you and to the vision you want to create with your memory tree. However, here are some top tips and ideas to form your tree:
- Sometimes it is best not to cram too much on the page so that each photo or text stands out on its own but there are also ways to save space and get as many memories on your tree as possible.
-Use the branches of your tree on the poster to annotate your photos so that you don't use extra space around the tree for this. For example, if you have a photo of your whole family having a picnic in the garden then you could write on the branch: 'Picnic in the Garden (date)' and then place your photo at the end of that branch so you know that that caption is referring to that picture.
- Don't feel like each memory has to be represented by photos. You can use written stories or craft creations as mentioned before. If there is a particularly small branch then feel free to write your favourite quote of the day or abbreviated story to remind you of a good time.
- While you can make these for a specific time or event or as the perfect gift for a friend or family, these ideas could also be an ongoing project for your family.
-Create your very own DIY ever-changing wall feature by drawing or painting a big tree on a blank wall or adding a huge poster to it and then attach photos with blue tack and post-it notes of stories so that your feature wall can be full of love that changes and stays relevant in your home.
-Every time you fill the tree, take a picture of it before you start over and then store all your photos of your trees in a memory tree scrapbook that your kids will love looking through. This could be one of the perfect DIY ideas you needed to fill your time with your kids.
Josie has grown up in London all her life and is an avid theatre go-er. She loves boogying along to her favourite musicals in the West End with her family. Her older sister always knows the best places to go in London for vegan food and her favourite attractions include the Victoria Palace Theatre and Borough Market.